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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Doctor Strange

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,217
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Via TCM, Girl With Green Eyes, a 1964 British kitchen sink drama with Rita Tushingham, Peter Finch, Lynn Redgrave and Julian Glover. The story of an innocent girl having an affair with a married man in early sixties Dublin.

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I was pleasantly surprised by this film, which is less downbeat than most of the British kitchen sink flicks. There's no happy ending, but the story isn't treated as a disastrous downfall, more as a learning experience. And Rita Tushingham is very good, with her huge, expressive eyes (Finch's character actually likens her to a lemur at one point!) conveying loads of emotion.

And it's always interesting to see Julian Glover, already playing villains in just his second film (as he had in his first film, Tom Jones.) Though never a household name, he'd go on to play juicy villains for decades, including General Veers in The Empire Strikes Back, Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Grand Maester Pycelle in Game of Thrones.

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FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,403
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
^ A lemur indeed, with eyes that would pierce a guilt ridden rake's conscience and sear his heart.
All more so when he knows it's nothing but dalliance and not going anywhere but to shame if not worse.
Mark of the right done kitchener is to give sink a good soul scrubbing leaving not mere scratch but scars.

Title suggests artistry of some sort like Vermeer. Will mark this down.
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
exp-in-terror-still1.jpg


Experiment in Terror from 1962 with Lee Remick, Glenn Ford, Ross Martin and Stephanie Powers


There is a great ninety-minute movie hiding inside of Experiment in Terror's two-hour runtime as the picture lets too many scenes go on for two long.

Edited down, though, it would have been a nonstop edge-of-your-seat noir/crime drama driven by its strong cast, beautiful cinematography and compelling story. It's still an excellent movie, but it could have been a classic.

Lee Remick plays a bank teller who is accosted one night at her home by an asthmatic man, played by Ross Martin, whose face she doesn't see. He knows intimate details about her and her sister's life and threatens them both if she doesn't rob the bank at his direction.

Despite Martin warning her not to, Remick calls the FBI, where an agent, played by Glenn Ford, takes the case. Ford has a large team, but they don't know whom they are after and they don't want to tip off this unknown man for fear he'll hurt Remick or her sister.

Most of the movie is a cat-and-mouse police drama. Ford and his team (the FBI appear to have unlimited resources) do the painstaking work of following up on every small clue, while Martin proves to be that seemingly omniscient psychopath who is always a step ahead.

There are a few too many plot flaws as you can see how the FBI could have captured Martin earlier on or, if not, how Remick, with so many FBI agents on the case, could have set him up for capture, but most movies have some plot flaws.

Remick is outstanding as the woman scared out of her wits, but who keeps her cool when she has to. Her performance is real and engaging. She created a strong female character. Her younger sister's character, played by Stephanie Powers, is an idiot.

Sure Powers' character doesn't deserve to die just for being really stupid, but if Martin kills her and not Remick, the collective human gene pool will be stronger. Plus, Powers is still learning to act; whereas, Remick here is an actress in complete control of her craft.

Ford, too, is an actor at the top of his game, playing the somewhat aloof but professional FBI agent who slowly comes to care very much about Remick. He has that skill of conveying intensity and anger through just his eyes and facial muscles.

As an early prototype of the sociopathic killer, Ross Martin is frighteningly brilliant. He embodies the singular focus and complete lack of empathy that make for a successfully demented criminal.

The City of San Francisco also deserves top billing. Its bustling streets, hilly residential areas, neon-lit-at-night seaport and iconic Candlestick Park create a wonderful 1960s noirish backdrop for the movie's tension and terror.

Director Blake Edwards almost got it perfect with the use of black and white film, sharp angles and shadows, claustrophobic crowd scenes and isolated moments of abject terror. He just hung onto several scenes for too long, causing the movie to drag in spots.

There are numerous "small" details that draw you in, including psychotic Martin genuinely caring for his girlfriend's sick child or Powers and her friends simply being incredibly typical and naive American teenagers, right down to going to a soda fountain after school.

You also want to notice in the final scene when Martin dones his duffle coat's hoodie and puts on sunglasses. He, sadly, foreshadows the "unabomber" look that would, decades later, become associated with the psychotic lone killer.

Experiment in Terror got so much right that you wish the entire effort had just been edited down by twenty or thirty minutes. That would have turned this very good noir/crime drama into the classic it almost was.

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FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,403
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
^ Ross Martin was a favourite as were always captivating Lee Remick and rough hewn Glenn Ford,
who branded the quiet hero role his own much like Jimmy Stewart. The Blackboard Jungle is classic film at best. Lee Remick made her bones in Anatomy of a Murder. Ross Martin was lower tier support actor however
his pick up work is all the more impressive due its variety and his innate talent to slip inside character skin
like a hand in glove.

Gatsby (1974) Robert Redford, Mia Farrow. Fitzgerald's novel isn't the best in American Literature but sufficiently
near its summit to make The Great Gatsby worth the climb. Awhile since last held Gatsby but Redford's take
on the man and his moment is the better deal than Ladd or Leo's juvenile try. I like this forty-nine year old film,
particularly director Jack Clayton's heavy touch camera focus deliberate lag look of it all. A conscience over class movie which an eastie lad out of the box inside London's east end can appreciate.

The set scenes are all bread slice crust removed and costuming bee's knees perfect. Redford is just the nines
here and Mia adequate Daisy's aberrance, her rectitude chilling and matches Redford's enigmatic Jay Gatsby.
Sam Waterston's narration invokes Fitzgerald as omniscient third personage hover over scene like a drone.
These people are doomed by their insipid choices, lust, and greed. Avarice so guised appears differing form in Gatsby
but at great cost. Fabulous masterpiece, Fitzgerald done right. Essential must see film.
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
^ Ross Martin was a favourite as were always captivating Lee Remick and rough hewn Glenn Ford,
who branded the quiet hero role his own much like Jimmy Stewart. The Blackboard Jungle is classic film at best. Lee Remick made her bones in Anatomy of a Murder. Ross Martin was lower tier support actor however
his pick up work is all the more impressive due its variety and his innate talent to slip inside character skin
like a hand in glove.

Gatsby (1974) Robert Redford, Mia Farrow. Fitzgerald's novel isn't the best in American Literature but sufficiently
near its summit to make The Great Gatsby worth the climb. Awhile since last held Gatsby but Redford's take
on the man and his moment is the better deal than Ladd or Leo's juvenile try. I like this forty-nine year old film,
particularly director Jack Clayton's heavy touch camera focus deliberate lag look of it all. A conscience over class movie which an eastie lad out of the box inside London's east end can appreciate.

The set scenes are all bread slice crust removed and costuming bee's knees perfect. Redford is just the nines
here and Mia adequate Daisy's aberrance, her rectitude chilling and matches Redford's enigmatic Jay Gatsby.
Sam Waterston's narration invokes Fitzgerald as omniscient third personage hover over scene like a drone.
These people are doomed by their insipid choices, lust, and greed. Avarice so guised appears differing form in Gatsby
but at great cost. Fabulous masterpiece, Fitzgerald done right. Essential must see film.

I almost hesitate to wander into a Gatsby conversation as they can get quite passionate here, but of the three versions you note, the '74 one is the only take I look forward to seeing as, despite its flaws, it is the only one that feels like the book to me. Nick centers the book and Waterston embodied him.
 

Cuvier

One of the Regulars
Messages
165
Location
Texas
I can't create a film review like Foxtrot, but I can still report on a new film I greatly enjoyed. A Haunting in Venice. Hercule Poirot faces off against seemingly supernatural phenomena to solve the murder of two guests at a seance held after an orphanage Halloween party. Plenty of twists and turns leaving the viewer in suspense as to who the killer is and the motives behind it.
Funny note. I have been working with my tailor on a custom suit. It's made to measure but to my directions. Wide peaked lapels, nice blue pinstripe Italian wool. We got started on it several months ago and I will be getting it tomorrow. I watched A Haunting in Venice and discovered that the suit that Poirot wears is nearly identical to what I ordered. Just by happenstance.
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
I can't create a film review like Foxtrot, but I can still report on a new film I greatly enjoyed. A Haunting in Venice. Hercule Poirot faces off against seemingly supernatural phenomena to solve the murder of two guests at a seance held after an orphanage Halloween party. Plenty of twists and turns leaving the viewer in suspense as to who the killer is and the motives behind it.
Funny note. I have been working with my tailor on a custom suit. It's made to measure but to my directions. Wide peaked lapels, nice blue pinstripe Italian wool. We got started on it several months ago and I will be getting it tomorrow. I watched A Haunting in Venice and discovered that the suit that Poirot wears is nearly identical to what I ordered. Just by happenstance.

Nice review. If you are so inclined, it would be great to see a picture of your new suit when you get it. Either way, enjoy it and wear it in good health.
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
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Something for the Birds from 1952 with Patricia Neal, Edmund Gwenn and Victor Mature


Lighthearted romcoms require just the right touch. If they are too sentimental, they can easily become a treacly mess, but if they take on too hard an edge, they can lose their charm and geniality.

Something for the Birds strikes the right balance as director Robert Wise, with assists from stars Patricia Neal, Edmund Gwenn and Victor Mature, steers this smile-producing tale of Washington, condors and romance away from either romcom guardrail.

Edmund Gwenn plays an engraver who harmlessly crashes the fancy Washington, D.C. parties for which he prints invitations.

He's become a likable fixture of the scene. Owing to some confusion years ago, which Gwenn doesn't correct, he is, mistakenly, believed by all to be a retired admiral.

Enter Patricia Neal playing an environmentalist who comes to Washington to petition against a bill allowing for gas drilling on the condor's breeding ground. She, by chance, meets and is assisted by Gwenn.

Gwenn, just trying to do a good deed, calls his lobbyist friend, played by Victor Mature, for assistance. Mature agrees to help, especially when he meets the quite attractive and single Neal.

Things are going well until Mature learns that another partner at his firm is working for the gas company trying to get the drilling bill passed. That is, what today we call, one heck of a conflict of interest.

Since even feel-good romcoms need drama, when Neal discovers the truth about Mature's firm, she mistakenly believes that Mature has been playing her all along. Now her campaign against the bill and her romance with Mature are threatened.

Mature also finds himself in the middle of a lobbyist "scandal" as his firm's behavior becomes fodder for the press and a senate investigation committee. This also brings risk of exposure for Gwenn's alter ego "the Admiral."

From here, as fans of romcoms know, things first get worse. Then in the climax, no real spoilers coming, all the truths spill out in a big finale where everything gets resolved happily. It's fun to see how it's done, but the end is never in doubt.

This is all Romcom 101, yet it works because these are likeable stars. Gwenn played a kindly and elderly gentleman full of mirth and goodness in countless movies back then, even creating the definitive Santa, for a generation, in 1947's Miracle on 34th Street.

Neal is the perfect blend of environmental zealot and Washington innocent. Mature, not known for comedic roles, surprisingly shows a flair for lighthearted material as he manages to be the most unnatural thing on earth, a genuinely likable lobbyist.

These three make a fun group to watch with the only drawback being that Neal and Gwenn have more on-screen chemistry than Neal and Mature. You wish the former pair were closer in age.

Helping this by-the-numbers story along is some neat Washington insight, as you get a sense of the way lobbyists work, how bills get "marked up," and how deals get quietly made. It's not always pretty, but humans are never going to "unhuman" the legislative process.

Director Wise, who impressively produced successful movies in many genres, shows that romcoms are just another style his thoughtful directing and very tight editing can work wonders in. Wise is possibly the most underrated director of all time.

It's not surprising that with so much talent in front of and behind the camera Something for the Birds is that rare thing, a romcom that is truly romantic and funny. It makes you laugh, smile and feel good.
 
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Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
09-cummings-lowe.jpg

Attorney for the Defense from 1932 with Edmund Lowe, Evelyn Brent and Constance Cummings


Movies can get a lot of things wrong as long as they make you care about the characters. Attorney for the Defense has a standard 1930s' wash-rinse-repeat legal-melodrama story, clunky production and choppy directing, but you care about several of its characters.

Edmund Lowe plays a district attorney eyeing the governorship. He's smart, polished and cocky, but also fair. He's single, yet he's having an affair with a promiscuous woman, played by Evelyn Brent. If the affair became public, it would hurt his political career.

With his smart, loyal and quietly pining-for-him secretary, played by super-cute Constance Cummings, running his office, all looks good for Lowe's future until a man he prosecuted, who was sentenced to death, is exonerated after the sentence was carried out.

Lowe, around the same time, finds out that his mistress, Brent, has been two-timing him with an mobster, played by Bradley Page. Shattered by both traumas, Lowe has an early midlife crisis.

He quits the district attorney's office and becomes a defense attorney. He also reaches out to offer financial help to the wife, played by Dorothy Peterson, and young son, played later as a young man by Don Dillaway, of the man who was wrongly executed.

Fast Forward a decade and Lowe is supporting Peterson and Dillaway. With super-efficient and still pining-for-him Cummings running his office, Lowe is now a successful defense attorney heading up a citizens reform movement that is about to help indict Page.

Brent, who has been Page's girlfriend all these years, comes to Lowe to get him to drop the indictment against Page. Brent offers Lowe money and/or sex, which are two sides of the same coin to her, but Lowe says no, which sets off a series of climatic events.

Seduction, a safe robbery, secret papers, murder, a cover-up, a trial broadcast over the radio and a O.J.-like moment in court are just the highlights of the movie's frantic last fifteen minutes, which also manages to wrap in a love story.

The picture works because Lowe is engaging as the basically good guy attorney who isn't perfect. He's got an ego and makes mistakes, like real people do, but he also has a pretty good North Star on his moral compass that makes us root for him.

Brent is delicious as the arrantly greedy seductress who sees her body as a commodity to sell and isn't ashamed about it one bit. Like a good soap-opera bad girl, you kinda like her or like hating her, anyway.

Constance Cummings is the quiet gem in this one. Her part is small, yet she's the moral center of the movie who also tries to maintain Lowe's compass. You keep hoping Lowe, whose taste in women runs lowbrow, will at some point, see what's right in front of him.

Director Irving Cummings (no relation to Constance) has too many transitions where scenes end or start abruptly, plus there's a general early talkie clunkiness to it. Cummings does, though, manage to rip through a lot of story in just over an hour.

If viewers care about a movie's characters, they'll look past many shortcomings. Attorney for the Defense has plenty of those, but Lowe, Brent and lovely Cummings create characters you care so much about, you whistle past the movie's flaws.
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
Holly-and-the-Ivy3.jpg

The Holly and the Ivy from 1952 with Celia Johnson, Ralph Richardson, Margaret Leighton, Maureen Delaney, Margaret Halstan and Denholm Elliott


All Christmas movies, including classics like The Bishop's Wife and Shop Around the Corner have conflict. Heck, even Hallmark puts some, albeit weak, conflict in its yearly explosion of Christmas movies because, otherwise, there is no movie.

Something has to go wrong or be a challenge or there's nothing to be overcome by the spirit of Christmas, so we can all feel good in the end. What is surprising is when a Christmas movie doesn't hold back but brings some real challenges and dysfunction.

The Holly and the Ivy brings it. Alcoholism, an out-of-wedlock birth (when that mattered), a minister's son questioning his faith and an adult daughter sacrificing too much for her widowed father drive the story in this little gem of a Christmas movie.

With his cozy rectory being nicely decorated for Christmas in anticipation of his adult children coming to visit, a reverend, played by Ralph Richardson, seems set to have a perfect Noel celebration, but early on we see that nothing is as it appears.

His son, played by Denholm Elliott, doubts his religious faith, but is uncomfortable discussing it with his father as the family's operating manual says that everyone tells Dad, Richardson, what they think he wants to hear.

This goes doubly for Richardson's younger daughter, played by Margaret Leighton, who is a fashion magazine editor in London. She secretly had a child out of wedlock who recently passed away at the age of four, prompting Leighton to turn to drink.

The "good daughter," played by Celia Johnson, is single, in her early thirties and runs the house for her absent-minded and aging father. Her boyfriend, played by John Gregson, is an engineer about to leave for a five-year assignment in South America.

He wants to marry Johnson and have her move to South America with him where they will start a family. Unless she can convince her sister, London-based Leighton, or one of her quirky aunts to take over the house, Johnson won't leave her father.

The aunts have their challenges, too. One, played by Maureen Delaney, is struggling financially, plus, she's no joy in general. The other aunt, played by Margaret Halstan, is kind but lonely. Her fear of not being invited for Christmas is heartbreaking.

The family then starts to arrive home on Christmas Eve. The house appears "happy" on the surface, but almost everyone is unhappy in reality. Oblivious to all the discord in his family, Richardson merrily goes about his day as the busy reverend.

Director George More O'Ferrall perfectly captures the contrast between the surface and the reality in a home like this as we see small alliances form as frustrations are discussed in nooks, rooms and corners away from the others.

The whispered conversations, the white lies, the conspiratorial flash of one's eyes, the occasional flare of anger and the immediate attempt to put everything "right" again so "Dad doesn't know" reveal a home in turmoil underneath its placid facade.

This is still a Christmas movie, so two things inevitably happen. The problems eventually spill out, which greatly surprises Richardson. But he also turns out to be much more understanding than his family expected, so solutions and reconciliations are possible.

It's the Christmas-spirit moment all Christmas movies have. Even in this gritty and realistic picture, the resolutions happen too quickly and easily. Yet it's believable that this family, in time, will solve its problems, so you just smile and enjoy the Hollywood ending.

The acting is uniformly impressive. Johnson and Richardson stand out, but each actor creates a convincing character. The dialogue is crip, honest and, often, harsh, with only the too-easy ending feeling forced.

The Holly and the Ivy, with its genuine family discord, is too realistic to ever become a beloved "holiday favorite." But for those who like their Christmas movies with some bite, it's an engaging film with only a bit too much sentimentality at the end.
 

Doctor Strange

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,217
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
Not as a Stranger (1955)

I thought I'd already seen nearly all the films directed and/or produced by Stanley Kramer, but I hadn't seen this one, his first film as director. It's based on a popular novel and deals - seriously, but melodramatically - with the medical profession.

NotAsAStranger1955.jpg

Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra (and Lee Marvin) play medical students interning under a gruff but good-hearted pathologist (Broderick Crawford, unrecognizable). Mitchum can't afford to stay in school because his drunkard father (Lon Chaney, Jr.) has destroyed the family savings, so he romances a kind, older OR nurse (Olivia de Havilland with a blonde wig and Swedish accent), ultimately marrying her for her money. He graduates and joins the practice of a dedicated small town doctor (Charles Bickford); she stops working and tries to be a "doctor's wife."

But there are two things that set this film apart from just your average medical melodrama... and which were probably what made it an interesting project to Kramer. There's a surprisingly strong condemnation of "most" med students who become doctors being there mainly for the big fees vs. saving lives. The interns all joke about it except Mitchum. Later in the film, Sinatra joins a big city practice and drives a Cadillac convertible (vs. the old wreck Bickfod gets for Mitchum), though he's not portrayed as a bad doctor, just more interested in making money.

In contrast, Mitchum is ultra-dedicated, desperately having wanted to be a doctor since early childhood and always working harder than any of the others. But at the same time, he's very broken emotionally. He married de Havilland for her money, treats her coldly, and doesn't love her. He cheats on her with a local troublemaker (Gloria Grahame, of course). He has compassion for his patients, but not his wife or friends. It's a good role for Mitchum, using just a touch of that scary side he shows in The Night of the Hunter and Cape Fear.

Olivia de Havilland is typically good in a thankless role... once the shock of her accent wears off. And besides the actors I've mentioned, the cast is stacked with familiar faces from 50s/60s TV shows: Harry Morgan (also with a Swedish accent), Jesse White, Whit Bissell, Jerry Paris, Nancy Kulp, etc.

Anyway, it's no masterpiece, but I found it an interesting flick. Recommended.
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
Not as a Stranger (1955)

I thought I'd already seen nearly all the films directed and/or produced by Stanley Kramer, but I hadn't seen this one, his first film as director. It's based on a popular novel and deals - seriously, but melodramatically - with the medical profession.

View attachment 564526

Robert Mitchum and Frank Sinatra (and Lee Marvin) play medical students interning under a gruff but good-hearted pathologist (Broderick Crawford, unrecognizable). Mitchum can't afford to stay in school because his drunkard father (Lon Chaney, Jr.) has destroyed the family savings, so he romances a kind, older OR nurse (Olivia de Havilland with a blonde wig and Swedish accent), ultimately marrying her for her money. He graduates and joins the practice of a dedicated small town doctor (Charles Bickford); she stops working and tries to be a "doctor's wife."

But there are two things that set this film apart from just your average medical melodrama... and which were probably what made it an interesting project to Kramer. There's a surprisingly strong condemnation of "most" med students who become doctors being there mainly for the big fees vs. saving lives. The interns all joke about it except Mitchum. Later in the film, Sinatra joins a big city practice and drives a Cadillac convertible (vs. the old wreck Bickfod gets for Mitchum), though he's not portrayed as a bad doctor, just more interested in making money.

In contrast, Mitchum is ultra-dedicated, desperately having wanted to be a doctor since early childhood and always working harder than any of the others. But at the same time, he's very broken emotionally. He married de Havilland for her money, treats her coldly, and doesn't love her. He cheats on her with a local troublemaker (Gloria Grahame, of course). He has compassion for his patients, but not his wife or friends. It's a good role for Mitchum, using just a touch of that scary side he shows in The Night of the Hunter and Cape Fear.

Olivia de Havilland is typically good in a thankless role... once the shock of her accent wears off. And besides the actors I've mentioned, the cast is stacked with familiar faces from 50s/60s TV shows: Harry Morgan (also with a Swedish accent), Jesse White, Whit Bissell, Jerry Paris, Nancy Kulp, etc.

Anyway, it's no masterpiece, but I found it an interesting flick. Recommended.

Great comments. I enjoyed this one pretty much for the reasons you noted. The cast is pretty impressive and it's a good medical drama story. You reminded me that I had written this movie up and never posted my comment (maybe I'll do that later).
 
Messages
16,765
Location
New York City
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Not as a Stranger from 1955 with Robert Mitchum, Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, Broderick Crawford and Charles Bickford


Hollywood has been making melodramatic doctor movies for as long as it's been making talking pictures (see 1931's Arrowsmith for a good early example). Not as a Stranger, released at a time when there was no weekly episode of Gray's Anatomy, provides a solid hit of doctor angst and bed hopping.

Robert Mitchum plays a young, brilliant, ambitious, poor and self-righteous medical student who marries a several-years-older-than-him Swedish nurse (think the rigid-immigrant, not swimsuit-hottie kind), played by Olivia de Havilland because she has saved enough money to pay for his education.

It's a brutally mercenary move on Mitchum's part, which de Havilland kinda suspects, but pushes from her mind because she wants Mitchum.

We know where this will eventually go, but we first have about an hour of Mitchum wowing and belittling the other doctors and the nurses in the training hospital he's in with his talent and arrogance.

Along for the ride is Frank Sinatra playing Mitchum's medical school roommate and buddy, who takes being a doctor much-less seriously than Mitchum. Also at the teaching hospital is Broderick Crawford playing Mitchum's professor and mentor.

Crawford is an old-school educator who tries, only somewhat successfully, to get Mitchum to see that compromise and respecting others' feelings are necessary traits for success, but Mitchum will only really learn this when he himself smashes up in life and medicine.

After medical school, it's, surprisingly, off to be a small-town doctor for Mitchum, which doesn't really make sense as he's a brilliant and arrogant physician who likes to work on the hardest cases with the best doctors in the world, not lance farmers' boils.

Mitchum, though, also has that all-too-common twisted morality that believes making money taints the purity of his work, so being a poor country doctor assuages his conscience.

From here, the movie is a good series of scenes of Mitchum growing as a rural doctor under the tutelage of an old crumendenly but talented and kind-hearted country doctor played by Charles Bickford, an actor born to play a an old crumendenly but talented and kind-hearted country doctor.

All throughout, wife de Havilland is there supporting Mitchum, who is often cold and condescending to her, except when he has brief moments of doubt where he then turns to her for sympathy and support.

The complications you know are coming all along has arrogant Mitchum messing up in the operating room and messing up his marriage when the town's rich, married and bored vamp, played by Gloria Grahame, spies herself a new, good-looking and young doctor. Judgemental Mitchum now faces his come-to-Jesus moment.

It's 1955 and the doctor-hospital-melodrama formula was already fully developed. While dated, the medicine, treatments and surgeries are fascinating to see, but as always in these movies (or TV shows), what really grabs your attention is the interactions of characters you care about.

De Havilland, Sinatra, Crawford and Bickford create believable and engaging personalities that you are mainly root for. Sinatra, who could act when he wanted to, is effective here in a supporting role as Mitchum's friend, foil and, sometimes conscience.

Mitchum's character, though, presents a challenge. Despite being the one whom the writers and director Stanley Kramer want you to be rooting for, you might or might not like him. It's a tough call, especially with a 2023 mindset, which places different values on many character traits than society did back in 1955.

Not a Stranger is a better-than-average doctor melodrama that, for us today, is also a fun window into 1955 medicine, marriages and morals. Had director Kramer thoughtfully loped off thirty minutes of his movie's two-plus hour runtime, he'd have made a tighter picture without losing anything,. But even as is, Not a Stranger is an engaging and entertaining effort.
 

FOXTROT LAMONT

One Too Many
Messages
1,403
Location
St John's Wood, London UK
Demonic possession as supernatural fact and secular fantasy is portrayed as temporal reality in
Julius Avery's The Pope's Exorcist (2023) which features a middle aged Russell Crowe as Reverend Gabrielle Amorth, SSP exorcist priest for the Archdiocese of Rome and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dicastery exorcism proctor for the Roman Catholic Church. Amorth was a Pauline priest exorcist who
penned demonology texts and held an international reputation before his death in 2016.

The film is quite good, but a steak wee tad bit overdone towards end though excellent romp overall.
Terrence Stamp is cast as the Pope, scholar seer to Crowe's bucaneer priest pirate opponent of Lucifer;
while His Holiness shepards his wolf Crowe past flocks of Vatican Curia locust prelates, the devil awaits him
inside a derelict Spanish Castillian medieval abbey newly purchased by an American with two kids.
So the fun begins.

Avery tilts kilt more crash splash than intellectual brawl, though demonic possession herewith not a chess
duel but a fistfight brawl still satisfies. Amorth is a Pauline, not a Jesuit; so the Cartesian agnostic stuff is
kept locked tight inside the drinks cabinet for arm wrestle, body slam, and hangman's rope suicidal intent.
Avery intuits audience want in horror genre. This I fault. A director shouldn't pander but provoke.

Not bad for pedestrian genuflect but I wanted the haunting elegiac converse, Satan's talons tightly dug
into a boy's immortal soul, grappled locked combat with a determined priest whose mind and wits are weapons.

Tyrconnell single malt Irish off Cooley distillery is the whisky here lads. Rye and cheese with Genoa sliced salami for good measure. And ice bucket.
 

Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,173
Location
Troy, New York, USA
I've seen the film at least once over the years.. The one scene that sticks with me is the seduction scene interposed with shots of a stallion literally busting down walls to get at a mare in heat.... NEVER forget that one.

Worf
 

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